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Ombudsman Program Effectiveness and Quality Assurance

Ombudsman Program Effectiveness

A Self-Evaluation and Continuous Quality Improvement Tool for State and Local Ombudsman Programs
Developed by Robyn Grant, MSW, for both state and local ombudsmen programs. The tool provides State and Ombudsmen program representatives with an instrument for conducting a self-assessment of their program to identify the program’s strengths and areas in need of improvement. Information and recommendations were used to determine 13 components deemed fundamental to having a strong, effective ombudsman program. The elements within each component (indicators) used to assess the program are considered to be exemplary practices that programs should strive to achieve.

Completing the Self-Evaluation Tool can help Ombudsmen:

  • Develop an action plan tailored to address the particular needs of his/her program
  • Set goals/priorities for his/her program
  • Establish benchmarks for his/her program
  • Meet the requirements of the Older Americans Act
  • Identify ombudsman program best practices
  • Identify training needs
  • Gain a greater understanding of the ombudsman program if the Ombudsman is new
  • Prepare for a program audit or evaluation

State Ombudsman

Ombudsman Program Representatives

Mini-Tool: Self-Evaluation and Continuous Quality Improvement Tool
The Mini-Tool is a condensed version of the original instrument that allows for a quick, initial assessment of a statewide program to identify areas for improvement and areas of strength. Once those program areas are identified, the user can move on to the comprehensive evaluation tool for an in-depth assessment of each component.

WEBINAR - Program Effectiveness: Self-Evaluation Tools for Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs
This webinar provides an overview of the self-evaluation tool, demonstrates how to use the tool, features presentations from Ombudsmen (SLTCO and LLTCO) that have used the tool and introduces the mini-tool. Listen to the recording here and view the PowerPoint slides (PDF versionPPT version).

Quality Assurance

Ohio Designation and Service Review (DSR)
The Ohio State Ombudsman Program conducts a quality assurance and program monitoring review every three years.  The objective of this review is to identify successful practices that can be shared, incorporated into training, included in policies, etc., as well as identify areas for improvement and how best to address them (i.e. additional training, guidance, oversight).  The tools utilized in this monitoring process are listed below:

  • DSR announcement – Outline to introduce the regional program to the monitoring process and timelines.
  • Budget narrative samples – examples of what the State Ombudsman Program is looking for in the budget narrative the regional program is required to provide.
  • Case and AGI selection – criteria and timeframe for review of ombudsman case records and documentation of advocacy and general information activity (AGI).
  • Assurances – used to determine compliance with structural standards.
  • Regional Program case and AGI review summary – the form where the Regional Program Director and each regional ombudsman will document the results of their review.
  • Data summary – the form used to summarize ombudsman quality measures and some other data reviewed for the DSR.
  • State Program case and AGI review summary – form used by State Office to summarize results of the review.
  • Regional Program case and AGI review summary
  • Staff survey – this is a copy of the Zoomerang survey the State Ombudsman Office asks the regional staff to complete as part of preparation for the DSR.
  • Designation letterdraft DSR summarydraft DSR technical assistance plan – these are templates used to “report” the results of the review, notify the Regional Program of continued designation, and a technical assistance plan (TAP) that outlines specific action steps and timelines to improve areas discussed during the DSR
  • Case review form

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Ombudsman Program Outcome Measures
The Ombudsman Outcomes Project was designed to identify additional outcome measures that could be used to describe the impact of the ombudsman program's work on the lives of long-term care residents and the long-term care system as a whole. This report describes the results of that effort. The data and other state information on which this report is based was collected over three years, ending with a final conference call with ombudsman staff from the four grantee states, held in January 2004. The final report incorporates feedback subsequently provided by the ombudsmen who participated in the project. This report was produced by the National Association of State Units on Aging and was conducted under the National Long Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center.

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